This is another story for one of Alison Tyler's contests. This time I tied for second place, which I was pretty happy about.
I'm also working on some longer stories and should have one out in ebook form soon. I'll post more details when I know what's happening. In the meantime, here is...
Better Late Than Never
“Sorry I’m late honey!” said Martin, coming inside. His wife sat at the table in a frilly apron patterned with red cherries, and as he came around the table to kiss her he realised to his surprise that she had nothing on beneath it. Inwardly he cursed his own tardiness. He’d been going over the Jenkins account while he could have been back here caressing his wife’s bare shoulders and hips as she stood at the stove cooking. Or dispensed with dinner altogether and just carried her into the bedroom. He felt himself stiffen at the thought.
“Never mind. Sit down.” Lucy gestured towards what looked to be a delicious roast chicken dinner. “It’ll be cold, but edible.” Martin had been married long enough to know that he was not yet forgiven for his misconduct. He took a couple of bites of chicken. “Lucy this is delicious! I really am sorry. I didn’t realise you’d go to so much trouble. I mean, the food, the wine, the candles-.“
He stopped and looked at the two brass candlesticks in the middle of the table. The right one held a tall white candle, producing a dim romantic glow. The left was empty.
“What happened to the other candle?”
“Oh that.” Lucy affected a casual air. “You were late and I got a bit impatient so I used it.”
“Used it? How?”
“Let me show you.”
She put one bare foot up on the edge of the table and reached for the candle.